Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Mauer batting second as Twins face Pirates

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: March 26, 2014 - 8:42 AM

    FORT MYERS, Fla. --  The Twins are in meetings this morning, part of the standard human-resources informational meetings that employees in most professions are required to take part in. Not that it means much yet, but all of the players on the bubble for roster spots were in the clubhouse, so no moves -- cuts, trades, etc. -- have been made so far. Four players must be moved by the time the Twins fly to Chicago on Saturday.

    Today's lineup for the noon CDT game with the Pirates has a couple of wrinkles to it, starting with the first appearance this spring of Joe Mauer in the No. 2 spot, where he spent most of last season. Ron Gardenhire has been trying a variety of lineups lately, searching for options at the top that don't include Aaron Hicks. Gardenhire's preference is to put the center fielder in the leadoff spot, but he's clearly trying to keep pressure off of Hicks, who flopped as the leadoff hitter last year. Also unusual: Jason Kubel is in left field, with Josh Willingham serving as the DH.

    Ricky Nolasco makes his final start of the spring today, and the plan is for him to pitch 6-7 innings in preparation for his Opening Day start next Monday.

    It's chilly and blustery in Fort Myers today, around 60 degrees with a persistent wind that may affect play. The Pirates are bringing most of their starters to Hammond Stadium today. Here are the lineups:

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Mauer 1B

Kubel LF

Willingham DH

Arcia RF

Plouffe RF

Suzuki C

Hicks CF

Florimon SS

 

Nolasco RHP

 

PIRATES

 

Harrison LF

Snider RF

McCutchen CF

Alvarez 3B

Walker 2B

G. Sanchez DH

Ishikawa 1B

T. Sanchez C

Mercer SS

 

Cumpton RHP

8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
MinnesotaP. Hughes (14-8)000
Kansas CityL. Hendriks (1-0)000
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